We all dine out from time to time and many of us have been servers at one point in our lives. You’d think we’d remember the things we should never say, but occasionally we forget so let’s have a quick review.
Don’t Call Me Baby
Or Sugar or Honeypie or Darlin. Unless you’re in the south, pet names are not endearing, they’re creepy. Plus, I don’t know you and I’m sure not your Muffin. I guarantee it.
Snap or Whistle
Look, I’m a server, not your dog. If you need my attention, a simple “Miss” or “Ma’am” should get my attention. You’re welcome to ask another server for assistance if you can see that I’m busy at another table. If it’s an emergency, call 911.
Ask Me What You Should Eat
If you’re looking for suggestions, that’s fine, but if you are wanting me to choose your meal for you, no deal. You’d be surprised how many people order by saying “Surprise me!” and… no. Really. My favorite thing on the menu may not be your favorite thing on the menu. If you like fish, tell me and I can give you some suggestions. If you’re looking for the most popular item on the menu, I can easily point you in the right direction. I’ve got enough going on, I’m not going to order your meal for you.
Tell Me You’re Allergic To Gluten
Or anything else for that matter, if you’re not. I’m allergic to walnuts, so I get it, before I order a salad or a dessert somewhere, I ask if there’s walnuts in it. If the answer is yes, I don’t get it. Simple. I hate cucumbers, but I do not tell my server I’m allergic to them if they show up on my salad. I pick them off. We as servers understand allergies and we will happily accommodate you, but don’t lie to me just because you’re picky. And for the love, if you’re so allergic to something that you could die, consider eating at home instead.
Don’t Let Your Children Order For Themselves
Yes, your two year old is adorable, no, I do not have the time to sit and listen to her mumble into her chest what she wants to eat. She may not like strangers and you never know, I may not care for kids. I get that you want her to learn how to treat people respectfully. Maybe consider waiting until she’s about 7 or 8 before you allow her to order on her own.
Do Not Rearrange The Tables
I cannot tell you how many times I’ve seated a table of four only to return with the drinks to find they’ve rearranged my entire dining space to accommodate 15 friends that just arrived. The tables have to go a certain way, and depending on the establishment, may have to be arranged for fire code or safety reasons. You cannot simply block a walk way because you want to sit next to your Great Aunt Martha. I’m sorry. And while we’re talking about large parties….
DO Call Ahead if You Have More Than Six In Your Party
If you have a large group, please, call ahead. If you walk in on a Friday evening at 6:30 with 10 people, I’m sorry, you’re not getting a seat anytime soon. Call ahead.
Please Don’t Ask What Your Server’s Day Job is
We understand that being a server may not appear to be a glamorous job, and many of us are working to put ourselves through school or supplementing another income. However, some of us (like me) actually quit a good job, with benefits, to come work here full time because THIS is our passion. I was born to do this and I love it more than I can put into words.